Eduardo Rodriguez Cleared to Start Physical Activity While Battling Myocarditis

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Red Sox pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez received some good news amid his battle with myocarditis, a heart issue linked to the coronavirus.

Rodriguez was cleared on Friday to begin physical activity and start walking on a treadmill soon. The 27-year-old contracted COVID-19 on July 7 and has not pitched this season.

"Really good news," manager Ron Roenicke told reporters on Friday, per NESN. "All the reports that came back, [the doctors] looked at it. He's been cleared to start just walking in a couple weeks. That will elevate to treadmill. They’re hoping his offseason will be normal and he’ll be able to build himself up for [2021]."

On Monday, Roenicke said it remained uncertain when Rodriguez could participate in a strength training program.

Rodriguez planned to return to the Red Sox in mid-July, but an MRI revealed myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart that's a complication of COVID-19. The virus directly invades the heart muscle, weakening and damaging its cells, through blood clots and inflammatory responses to viral infection. 

Discovery of myocarditis raised concerns across sports this summer, particularly college football leaders as they debated whether to hold a season. While conferences have pushed ahead with football, physicians are still learning about the virus and its post-recovery impacts on the body.

Boston has missed Rodriguez this season, especially after losing Chris Sale to Tommy John surgery in March. In 2019, Rodriguez logged a 3.81 ERA with 213 strike outs in 34 games started—the most in the American League.

The Red Sox have floundered this season, going 22-35 and sitting last in the AL East.